Posted on: January 3, 2010 4:55 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2010 5:23 pm
Cameras have caught John Calipari yelling all sorts of things over the years, most notably when he called former Memphis player Earl Barron a female's body part, clear as day, on national television. In fairness, Calipari had a point about Barron. But not everybody thinks the Kentucky coach's sideline antics are nearly as entertaining as I do, which is why several angry readers have emailed a clip from Saturday's Kentucky-Louisville game that appears to show Calipari yelling at Louisville's Reginald Delk (though it could be of Calipari yelling at a ref).
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not a licensed lip-reader.
So I could have this all wrong.
But Calipari appears to tell Delk that Bledsoe will "kick your ass after the game's over" and that Delk is messing with the "wrong guy." Or at least that's what I thought the first 20 times I watched it. But a reader pointed out that it's possible Calipari is yelling at the ref that Delk told Bledsoe "I'm going to kick your ass after the game's over" in an attempt to show the ref that he called the foul on the "wrong guy."
Honestly, I don't know.
But it's a good video, either way.
Click this link to check it out.
Then tell me what you think.
It goes down around the 17-second mark.
Posted on: January 3, 2010 9:45 am
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- I'm about to head to the airport and fly home after 36 hours in Lexington that included a fun basketball game played Saturday at Rupp Arena. Kentucky remained undefeated with a 71-62 victory over Louisville, meaning the top three of the Top 25 (and one) -- No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Kentucky, No. 3 Texas -- will remain intact while Purdue finally cracks my top four.
(Better late than never, right?)
Who's No. 5?
It'll be Duke if the Blue Devils handle Clemson tonight.
Otherwise, it's probably Villanova.
Either way, that's tonight.
Till then, wish me safe travels.
Posted on: December 31, 2009 9:12 pm
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- All done here at FedExForum, about to head home for the night.
No big New Year's plans.
But I do have big plans for Jan. 2.
I'm catching a flight in the morning to Lexington, where I'll cover Saturday's game between Kentucky and Louisville. Should be a fun environment, and hopefully it'll be an entertaining game. I'm looking forward to it, either way. And I'll check back here when I land.
Posted on: December 29, 2009 2:09 pm
Louisville-Kentucky is always a big deal. But when you throw in that it's now Rick Pitino vs. John Calipari, and that the Wildcats are among the best teams in the nation, and that Pitino was part of a pretty wild extortion case this offseason, and that nobody probably enjoyed that more than Calipari, and that college basketball's best player (John Wall) will be involved, well, what you get is a blockbuster event.
As proof, check the list of credentialed media that'll be at Saturday's game.
And remember, this is just a list of the credentials granted .
Many, many more were requested.
But Rupp Arena only holds so many people, you know.
LIST OF CREDENTIALED MEDIA FOR LOUISVILLE-KENTUCKY
Posted on: December 23, 2009 11:54 am
AUSTIN, Texas -- Over the past four days I've been in Arlington for Texas' win over North Carolina, in Waco for Baylor's win over UT-Arlington, in Oklahoma City for UTEP's win over Oklahoma and Oklahoma State's win over La Salle, and in Austin for Texas' win over Michigan State.
It's been a long trip.
I'm glad to be heading home now.
And among the things I'll think about over Christmas is whether to break my personal rule of allowing top-ranked teams to remain No. 1 until they lose, no matter what. I've now seen seven of the nation's top 11 teams in person -- including No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Texas and No. 3 Kentucky -- and I cannot deny that the Longhorns have been the most impressive of the bunch. If I was breaking it down, I'd say Kansas is still the safest pick to win the national title, but that Texas is probably the smartest pick while Kentucky has the highest ceiling of any team because John Wall is the best player in the country, and DeMarcus Cousins might be the second most talented. It's just that you can't rely on Cousins, which is why UK might be less reliable. But either way, I'd put Kansas, Texas and UK in the top tier of teams, then put West Virginia, Purdue, Syracuse, Duke, Villanova, North Carolina and Michigan State in that second tier.
Will I keep Kansas No. 1?
Again, I don't like to drop teams for winning.
But I'm at least considering it.
And that should tell you how impressed I am with Texas.
Posted on: December 18, 2009 3:28 pm
John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader has posted video of John Calipari discussing Bob Knight's controversial comments about the Kentucky coach. In case you missed it, here's what Knight said at a Thursday night fundraiser: "We've gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that's why I'm glad I'm not coaching. You see we've got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he's still coaching. I really don't understand that."
Click this link to watch Calipari's response.
Posted on: December 18, 2009 6:22 am
Edited on: December 18, 2009 10:19 am
Bob Knight spoke at a fundraiser Thursday night.
Predictably, he managed to make national headlines.
"We've gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that's why I'm glad I'm not coaching," Knight said. "You see we've got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he's still coaching. I really don't understand that."
This is the place where Kentucky fans would like me to tell you that John Calipari has never been directly implicated in anything, and the place where fans of every other school, particularly Memphis fans, would like me to tell you that Knight speaks the truth, and God bless him. But I'm not interested in sparking that debate because the Calipari debate has been going on for months, if not years, and it never reaches a conclusion.
If he coaches your school, you love him.
If not, you think he's a lying cheater.
There's almost no in-between.
And this is how it's going to be forever, UK fans, and why it was clear -- even before Knight said what he said -- that any success Calipari has going forward will be tainted regardless of whether it's really tainted. Until the day he retires, the majority of observers will believe, fair or not, that every recruit Calipari gets is a product of his relationship with William Wesley even if Worldwide Wes has never met the recruit. All SATs will be assumed fake even if they're legit, all future pros will supposedly have agents even if they do not.
There's no sense in fighting that perception.
There's certainly no way of changing that perception.
On Thursday night, it was Bob Knight taking a shot at Calipari.
In March during the NCAA tournament, it'll be every columnist in America.
That's what the $30 million Kentucky spent on Calipari has brought the school -- a coach who will lure lots of great recruits, win countless big games, and hang banners while people ask whether Kentucky really expects those banners to remain after an inevitable NCAA investigation. Then Kentucky fans will yell about how Calipari wasn't tied to anything. Then everybody will roll their eyes and laugh. And around and around we go.
Posted on: December 17, 2009 3:28 pm
Edited on: December 17, 2009 3:31 pm
Here's Thursday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: I am a concerned Kentucky fan! About an hour ago I was watching a show called "All Bets Are Off" in Ohio, and it was reported that Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown might be released at the end of the season in an attempt to keep LeBron James with the Cavs. Bruce Drennan, the host, said it was rumored by Cavalier insiders that the Cavs would make a legitimate attempt to get John Calipari to coach Cleveland. Drennan said LeBron is really good friends with Calipari, and that the hire would likely keep James in Cleveland. Have you heard any rumors regarding this story?
It has been rumored for a while that Calipari might one day coach LeBron James.
I first heard it maybe three years ago.
The first version had the Knicks hiring Calipari in an attempt to get James. That obviously didn't happen. But if you're asking whether some basketball people believe this is a realistic scenario, the answer is yes. It's mostly rooted in the fact that Calipari is tight with James and nearly everybody around James -- including James' agent (Leon Rose) and confidant (William Wesley). Hell, one of James' best friends (Brandon Weems) is on staff at Kentucky right now.
Still, it's all speculation and little more.
I would compare it to the speculation that Michigan will fire Rich Rodriguez after next season, then go pluck Jim Harbaugh from Stanford. Could it happen? Sure. But what if Rodriguez turns it around? What if Harbaugh has a terrible season at Stanford next year? What if Harbaugh decides he just really loves living in California?
In other words, there are a lot of moving parts.
Brown could win an NBA title and become unfirable.
James could decide he wants to play in New York, regardless.
The Cavs could decide they don't want a player naming his coach.
James could decide he wouldn't name Calipari even if he could name Calipari.
Calipari could decide he doesn't want to move his family for the second time in two years.
Like I said, there are lots of ways for this to play out, and a lot of things would have to break a certain way for John Calipari to end up coaching the Cavs next season. So I wouldn't be concerned at this point, Clyde. You have an undefeated team, the most exciting player in college basketball, and a realistic shot at a national title. Enjoy that and don't worry yourself about this until Brown is fired and Calipari is mentioned as a replacement. If that happens, absolutely, feel free to worry. But until then, I'd relax.